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Old 08-27-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
chazbird OP
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Italian engineering rant

Piaggio BV250 scooter. I am replacing the top box carrier-rack because someone tried to steal the bike and lowered it to the grond using the rack side handle, breaking the plastic around the right side main mount.

New piece. $140.

Taking the whole thing off is, for these days, reasonably straightforward, however there are 12 sets of nuts, bolts, etc, with attendant washers, collars, etc., most sets are different sizes and, surprise, some of them are difficult to access. Nothing new here, right? after all, this is the modern age.

Get the rack assembly off and apart. The helmet lock, which I want to attach to the replacement unit, has two more nuts associated with it. Take those off. No, it does not come off. Turn it over and there's one more, it is a pressed-in flush rivet type thing. With some research I find this is an anti theft feature! This, "feature" is under 3 layers of the rack assembly. To take off the helmet lock you'd have to spend 15-20 minutes doing just what I did only to be faced with an anti-theft feature.

If that isn't bad enough, the helmet locking pin goes into the rack itself anyway. Ergo, if that is locked, presumably with the desirable helmet attached, then, after you disable the whole rack, you can take off the two nuts, and drill out the anti theft pin piece to your hearts content, and you still can't take the helmet, because its locked to pin is locked to the rack itself.

This design is a special kind of stupid.

Total time to replace the rack 50 minutes wrenching, 20 drilling, etc, and 1 hour to the shop and back: 2 hr 10 minutes. I spend 20 minutes a year doing all the required maintenance on my Honda Passport.

Rant over.

chazbird screwed with this post 08-27-2014 at 12:00 PM
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
stevie88
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Dude, this is a Motorcycle forum.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
fritzcoinc
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Yeah, "these days"
What you are describing is a device designed on a computer screen by someone who never turned a wench and not related to Italian culture.
However, the Italians do seem to insist upon having their technical literature translated by the lowest bidder who incidentally does not operate mechanical devices, they have goats.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
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If you think Italian bikes are messed up, wait until you try working on Italian automobiles.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:02 PM   #5
Dan V.
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I have an Aprilia SR50 that I have been working on for a while. Hard to believe that bodywork can have so many screws! Just try to get at the carb.... or anything else. PITA .
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
chazbird OP
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Changed the headlight bulb and taillight bulb on the Honda Passport today. Less the two minutes for the taillight, about 3-5 minutes for the headlight - no manual required.

Pondering the inevitable I am wondering how many hours to budget in order to change the headlight and tail light for the BV250. Copious body work is the first obvious challenge. Surprises will no doubt appear after that.

But I do love the BV250. Really. Its great.

However, the C70 Passport, Cub, or whatever you want to call it, is simply one of the best realized machines ever designed and built.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan V. View Post
I have an Aprilia SR50 that I have been working on for a while. Hard to believe that bodywork can have so many screws! Just try to get at the carb.... or anything else. PITA .
Agreed. I sold my Ditech model because I did not like pulling it apart to work on it. Loved the bike though.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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but Italian bikes have soul! and character, build character maybe. hahahah

I remember having to do an oil change on a BV500, it was a 4 hour job, 15minutes to change the oil and the rest was body panels
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:21 PM   #9
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It;s not just Italian engineering. Everything has gotten more and more complicated. Many years ago I replaced a water pump on a '90s Honda Accord. I did it by cutting out part of the inner fender. The manual said "remove engine"

I know a guy with a late model Chrysler 300 hemi. The dealer wanted $800 to replace the spark plugs, because the engine had to be partially removed, and that meant every part connected to it had to be removed.

I had to pull the engine out of my Vulcan 750 to replace the stator. Virtually every engine repair on that bike requires the engine to be removed.

My former Vino 125 required the engine oil to be drained to get to the variator. Look how many scooters have to be practically disassembled to reach the valve adjusters. The Yamaha Majesty requires the engine to be removed to check the valves. My Vulcan would too, except that it has hydraulic valves.

Having spent 36 years working on vehicles for a living, I noticed over the years how they had become more and more complex. Not just the addition of electronic and safety crap, but engines, transmissions, steering, suspension, and especially stuff inside. I remember the days you could crawl under the dash and reach everything under there. Not always easily, but doable. Reaching something under the dash on a newer model car is an absolute nightmare. It could cost thousands of $$$ in labor.

More and more, manufacturers are building vehicles designed to be disposable, to be used up and scrapped, rather than repaired. They don't seem to take repairing, or even maintaining them into consideration anymore. Mercedes and BMW even did away with the oil dipstick.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:00 PM   #10
Rob Farmer
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You wait until you try working on an Indian version of a 1950s Italian machine
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:15 PM   #11
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My Stella has always been easy to work on. So far all I've had to do is replace the top end and a stator. Both very easy. Maintenance is also easy. And with the exception of the EFI, the Royal Enfield also seems easy to work on. I have read through the service manual, and it is an amazingly simple machine.
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2002 Vulcan 750, 2013 Royal Enfield B5
2001 XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
Changed the headlight bulb and taillight bulb on the Honda Passport today. Less the two minutes for the taillight, about 3-5 minutes for the headlight - no manual required.

Pondering the inevitable I am wondering how many hours to budget in order to change the headlight and tail light for the BV250. Copious body work is the first obvious challenge. Surprises will no doubt appear after that.

But I do love the BV250. Really. Its great.

However, the C70 Passport, Cub, or whatever you want to call it, is simply one of the best realized machines ever designed and built.
I reviewed the diagrams for replacing the bulb on the headlight of my BV350. Usual "what the hell angle are they showing in this diagram" nonsense but I know I can do it just not sure how long it will take the first time!

The taillights I think I figured out without looking at the manual...there appear to be rubber access covers in the Pet Carrier that give access to the back of the tail lamps.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
It;s not just Italian engineering. Everything has gotten more and more complicated. Many years ago I replaced a water pump on a '90s Honda Accord. I did it by cutting out part of the inner fender. The manual said "remove engine"

I know a guy with a late model Chrysler 300 hemi. The dealer wanted $800 to replace the spark plugs, because the engine had to be partially removed, and that meant every part connected to it had to be removed.

I had to pull the engine out of my Vulcan 750 to replace the stator. Virtually every engine repair on that bike requires the engine to be removed.

My former Vino 125 required the engine oil to be drained to get to the variator. Look how many scooters have to be practically disassembled to reach the valve adjusters. The Yamaha Majesty requires the engine to be removed to check the valves. My Vulcan would too, except that it has hydraulic valves.

Having spent 36 years working on vehicles for a living, I noticed over the years how they had become more and more complex. Not just the addition of electronic and safety crap, but engines, transmissions, steering, suspension, and especially stuff inside. I remember the days you could crawl under the dash and reach everything under there. Not always easily, but doable. Reaching something under the dash on a newer model car is an absolute nightmare. It could cost thousands of $$$ in labor.

More and more, manufacturers are building vehicles designed to be disposable, to be used up and scrapped, rather than repaired. They don't seem to take repairing, or even maintaining them into consideration anymore. Mercedes and BMW even did away with the oil dipstick.
I replaced the variator rollers on my CH 125 Honda Elite last winter and there was a lot of oil missing from the engine when I first started it up in the spring. Did I miss something? Where could it have leaked out? Yes, it was on the floor, but does part of the engine get loosened by removing the CVT parts?
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Old 09-01-2014, 02:48 PM   #14
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Headlight blub went out on the Burgman 400 we had. I looked at what you had to do with the headset to get to the bulb which if I recall correctly involved removing the windshield as well I said screw it and took it to the Suzuki dealer to get the bulb changed. Now that is pathetic.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:32 AM   #15
JerryH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdwise View Post
Headlight blub went out on the Burgman 400 we had. I looked at what you had to do with the headset to get to the bulb which if I recall correctly involved removing the windshield as well I said screw it and took it to the Suzuki dealer to get the bulb changed. Now that is pathetic.
Unfortunately that is the way they build things now. Yes it is pathetic. But it is also modern. It took me 2 hours to replace a headlight bulb on my modern car. I had to remove the grille, part of the front bumper cover, and a splash guard that was way up in there and almost impossible to reach. It took several different tools. And yet, these lights do not work any better than the sealed beams on my older cars that take 10-15 minutes to replace. Not only that, but if a sealed beam gets broken, it costs $10 for a new one. If the headlight housing on that car gets broken, it's almost $200. Yet it must be better, somehow. It's what everybody wants.
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I won't spend more on a bike than I think it's worth, but if it's a good deal, I don't seem to have a problem buying bikes I don't need.
2002 Vulcan 750, 2013 Royal Enfield B5
2001 XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella
1980 Puch moped
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